It’s impossible to cover each bit of new music that comes out during the week, so every Friday, we’ll be doing an end of the week music roundup. It’s called Final Track, and we’ll count off a few songs released during the week that are worth giving a listen to.
Today, we've got Refused, the xx, Rick Ross with Dr. Dre and Jay-Z, and more.
"Angels" by the xx
I wasn't as enamored with the xx's 2009 debut as everyone else seemingly was. It was too chilly and distant for my taste, which is why I'm surprised at how much I like "Angels." Or in the context of the song's lyrics, I'm shocked at "being as in love with you as I am." It sounds more human, even though the group's general aesthetic — namely, the minimalistic production and Romy Madley Croft's sparse voice — remains the same. It's possible to connect to it, and in under three minutes, "Angels" doesn't overstay its welcome.
I'm suddenly a lot more excited for September 11 when Coexist comes out.
"Swimming Pools (Drank)" by Kendrick Lamar
Assisted by an echo-y production that recalls being recorded underwater, Kendrick Lamar's second hypnotic single from his upcoming album, good kid m.A.A.d city, has been receiving accolades accolades from music critics everywhere — and Lady Gaga, too, who watched his performance at last weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival from backstage. Full report at the Smoking Section.
"New Noise" by Refused
Not a new song, but the fact that Refused, the Swedish hardcore greats who released one of the 1990s finest albums in The Shape of Punk to Come, played Jimmy Fallon in 2012 is f*cking awesome.
"Love Crimes" by the Afghan Whigs
A studio version of the soul-rocker's Frank Ocean cover. The tempo is slower, but the edges are harder. All-around excellent.
"3 Kings" by Rick Ross, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z
There's a lot of rap royalty represented in "3 Kings," featuring a sleepy-sounding Dre and a revived Jay-Z, which you can read more about at the Smoking Section. It's good, but it doesn't live up to Ross's claim of being "the biggest collaboration in hip-hop...Not just this year, maybe previous years.” A Beats by Dre plug, really?
"Gallop" by Tall Ships
I appreciate song titles that are in-sync with the song itself, and "Gallop" does just that, with a push from the tribal drumming and a distinctively "British" sound.
"Oh Love" by Green Day
I think I like this chunky pop-punk throwback, but I know I love the way Bille Joe says "TOOOnight" and the hooks and I can't get it out of my head (what does that say about my theory?).
Either way, "I'm wearing my heart on a noose" is regrettable.